ENHANCE UNDERSTANDING

ISHM: JUNE 30 – JULY 7, 2022

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Key Takeaways:

  • Time “Running Out” For KDP-PUK Deal; Mob Attacks MP’s Office Over Anti-Militia Remarks; CF Cohesion Strained As Maliki Sets Sights On The Premiership – On July 3, a PUK spokesperson said that time was “running out” for his party and the KDP to reach an agreement on a joint presidential candidate as both parties remained determined to push their respective choices. The PUK official said he expects the PUK and KDP candidates to compete for election in Parliament if an agreement is not reached shortly after next week’s Eid holiday. On July 4, an angry mob attacked the office of Diyala MP Raad al-Dahlaki, and militia-affiliated politicians issued threats against him, after the MP called for removing the Popular Mobilization Forces from Diyala and other predominantly Sunni provinces. On July 5, members of the State of Law coalition (SoL) said the bloc plans to officially present its leader, Nouri al-Maliki, to be the Coordination Framework’s (CF) candidate for prime minister. The Nasr, Hikma, and Badr factions within CF expressed objections to nominating Maliki. Hadi al-Amiri reportedly warned that he might withdraw his bloc from Parliament if CF could not agree on a candidate that’s acceptable to the Sunni, Kurdish, and Sadrist blocs. On July 4, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham visited Baghdad and Erbil for meetings with federal Iraqi and KRG leaders that reportedly focused on Syria and disputes between Baghdad and Erbil. more…
  • IEDs Hit Iraqi Security Forces And Demining Team; Iraq Needs Until 2024 To Get All Its 24 T-50 Jets Operational – Between July 2 – 5, the explosions of seven IEDs, and one attack by ISIS militants, killed at least four Iraqis and wounded 21 in the provinces of Diyala, Ninewa, Baghdad, Salah ad-Din, and Dhi-Qar. Most of the casualties were caused by two attacks on security forces in the Sherween region of Diyala, and two explosions that struck army troops and a demining team in Ninewa. On July 4, the commander of Iraq’s air force said that the three, long-grounded, T-50 jets brought into service last week will be joined by an additional five by the end of this year, followed by 16 aircraft in 2023 and 2024. On July 5, Turkish warplanes struck suspected PKK targets near the Makhmour refugee camp, damaging several buildings in the area. On July 5, Iraqi security forces killed two “of the most dangerous” ISIS militants in Kirkuk province; the number two militant in the “Wilayat Dijlah” and the militant in charge of ISIS finances in the area. more…
  • Humanitarian Response Plan Is 78% Underfunded; Iraq Reports More Cholera, Hemorrhagic Fever Cases; Latest COVID-19 Wave Escalates – On June 5, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported a serious funding gap affecting the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). OCHA said that donors have provided $90 million in funding through the month of June, just over 22% of the $400 million needed to reach nearly a million people with acute humanitarian needs. On July 3, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed hemorrhagic fever cases increased to 230, with 38 fatalities. The Ministry also said the number of confirmed cholera cases increased to 160, including two fatalities. On July 7, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 2,374,046, an increase of 25,384 from the 2,348,662 reported on June 30. Hospitalizations jumped from 14,662 to 31,925, and the daily average for new cases nearly tripled to 3,626/day during the last seven days compared to the previous reporting period. The number of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine reached 10,903,353 including 15,171 who received their shots on July 7. more…
  • Oil Revenue Hit New High In June; Survey Reveals Detailed Unemployment Data; Court Voids KRG Oil Contracts – On July 1, Iraq’s Ministry of Oil said that crude oil exports in June averaged 3.37 million bpd and generated $11.5 billion in revenue, nearly $70 million higher than the record $11.43 billion achieved in May. On July 5, data from a nationwide labor force survey provided a detailed picture of the labor market in Iraq. Key findings indicated that the national labor force participation rate was 39.5% in 2021, and nationwide unemployment stood at 16.5%. Females were twice more likely to be unemployed than males, and young people were three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Moreover, more than 54% of total employment was in the informal sector. On July 6, news reports said that an Iraqi court in Baghdad ruled that the contracts of four foreign oil companies operating in the Kurdistan region were void. The ruling on July 4 reportedly affected Western Zagros, DNO, HKN Energy, and Genel Energy, because their contracts were in violation of the February 15 ruling by the Federal Supreme Court against oil operations in the Kurdistan region. more…

For more background on most of the institutions, key actors, political parties, and locations mentioned in our takeaways or in the stories that follow, see the ISHM Reference Guide.


Time “Running Out” For KDP-PUK Deal; Mob Attacks MP’s Office Over Anti-Militia Remarks; CF Cohesion Strained As Maliki Sets Sights On The Premiership

On July 3, a spokesperson for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said that time was “running out” for his party and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to reach an agreement on a joint presidential candidate. The spokesperson, Haryam Kamal Agha, said that talks were continuing between the two parties, adding that the PUK remains determined to nominate the incumbent Barham Salih for a second term. The PUK official said he expects a repeat of the 2018 events, when two candidates from the PUK and KDP ran against each other for election in Parliament, if an agreement is not reached shortly after next week’s Eid holiday. A spokesperson for the KDP affirmed that her party too was determined to support its own candidate for the presidency.  

On July 4, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham visited Baghdad and met with Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. A statement by Kadhimi’s office said the talks focused on security cooperation and U.S. support for building the capacity of Iraqi security forces. The meeting also discussed regional developments “particularly regarding the situation in Syria” and what Iraq can do to achieve regional stability “in light of its growing role in this area.” Accompanied by Washington’s ambassador to Baghdad, Alina Romanowski, Graham also met with Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, President Barham Salih. On the following day, the senator traveled to Erbil to meet with Nechirvan Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan regional Government (KRG). According to a statement by Barzani’s office, the talks in Erbil addressed the political conditions in Iraq, the war on ISIS, efforts to resolve disputes between Baghdad and Erbil, and “the Kurdish question in Syria.”   

On July 4,the Siyada Coalition of Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi condemned “undisciplined groups” that attacked the office of Raad al-Dahlaki, one of its lawmakers in Diyala province. Siyada called the attack “a dangerous act that does not bode well for partnership.” News reports said earlier that day that an angry mob shut down Dahlaki’s office and raised the flag of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) on the building. The attack happened after Dahlaki made certain remarks in which he called for removing the PMF from Diyala and other predominantly Sunni provinces. Representatives of the PMF-backed Fatah Coalition responded to Dahlaki’s remarks with accusations of stoking sectarian tensions, as well as threats to “cut the hand and tongue” of anyone who wants to remove the PMF from Diyala.  

On July 5, members of the State of Law coalition (SoL) said the bloc plans to officially present its leader, Nouri al-Maliki, to the rest of the Coordination Framework (CF) to be the bloc’s candidate for prime minister. SoL member Mohammed al-Sayhood said he expects a repeat of the 2005 scenario, when the largest Shia bloc then presented one candidate for the premiership after an internal election in which three candidates from different factions within the largest bloc competed for the nomination. Another SoL member, Arif al-Hamami, said the CF would then begin government formation negotiations separately with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Siyada Coalition of Speaker Halbousi. The SoL representatives claimed that CF factions agreed to nominate Maliki during a meeting they had on Monday, but a spokesperson for the Nasr alliance of former Prime MInister Haider al-Abadi said the meeting focused on pushing Kurdish parties to resolve their dispute over the presidency and did not address the nomination of Maliki for prime minister. The Fatah Coalition appears to have objections to nominating Maliki for a new term in office. Sources close to Fatah’s leader, Hadi al-Amiri, said the latter told other CF leaders that CF’s candidate for prime minister must be acceptable to Sunni and Kurdish parties, “and especially to the Sadrists.” Amiri reportedly warned that otherwise he might withdraw his bloc’s representatives from Parliament and join Muqtada al-Sadr in boycotting the political process. The Hikma party of Ammar al-Hakim also appears to be opposed to nominating Maliki. On July 6, senior Hikma member Baligh Abu Gelel announced that he was nominating former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for office.

Sources cited above include: INA, NINA, Rudaw, Iraqi prime minister’s office, Shafaq, and Nas News. 


IEDs Hit Iraqi Security Forces And Demining Team; Iraq Needs Until 2024 To Get All Its 24 T-50 Jets Operational

On July 2, security sources in Ninewa province said that a legacy improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in the village of Salhiyah, near the Tal Afar district, west of Mosul. The explosion killed one Iraqi soldier and injured two people, one of whom is a member of a seismic survey team dispatched to the area by the Oil Ministry.

On July 2, security sources in Baghdad said that an IED explosion targeted a group of civilians in the al-Hora region of the Tarmiyah district, north of the capital. The explosion killed one civilian and injured two. Meanwhile, a homemade IED detonated inside a house in the Adhamiyah district of Baghdad, causing minor injuries to its owner. 

On July 3, security sources in Salah ad-Din province said that an IED explosion targeted a convoy transporting supplies for the International Coalition forces in the southern parts of the province. There were no reports of casualties. 

On July 3, security sources in Diyala province said that ISIS militants attacked an outpost of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the Sherween region, northeast of Baquba. The sources said the attack killed two PMF fighters and injured five. On the following day, an IED exploded near PMF troops while they were searching nearby orchards, injuring four more PMF fighters.

On July 4, the commander of Iraq’s air force provided new details about the timeline for restoring the country’s fleet of 24 T-50 jets–which took to the sky for the first time last week–to operational status. According to the commander, lieutenant general Shihab Jahid, the three jets that have been brought into service to date will be joined by an additional five aircraft by the end of this year. Jahid added that the second phase of the plan aims to bring eight more jets into service in 2023, while the final eight would enter service in 2024, bringing the total to 24 aircraft.  

On July 5, the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said that an IED explosion injured seve Iraqis, who are members of a demining team, when it struck their vehicle in the Tel Keif district, northeast of Mosul. The demining team worked for Global Clearance Solutions (GCS), a partner of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

On July 5, the counter-terrorism service of the Kurdistan region said that Turkish warplanes struck a building occupied by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Makhmour camp for Kurdish Turkish refugees. Sources in Makhmour said the airstrike damaged several buildings in the area but did not cause casualties. 

On July 5, security sources in Dhi-Qar province said that a homemade IED exploded in front of a house in the Rifai district, north of Nasiriyah. The explosion caused material damage to the building but there were no reports of casualties. 

On July 5, Iraq’s military intelligence service said that Iraqi security forces killed two “of the most dangerous” ISIS militants in a cave in the Karaw mountain area in Kirkuk province. The statement said the slain militants were the number two militant in the “Wilayat Dijlah” and the militant in charge of ISIS finances in the same area. 

Sources cited above include: al-Sumaria, NINA, Shafaq, INA, ISHM archives, Rudaw, PUKMedia, and al-Mirbad. 


Humanitarian Response Plan Is 78% Underfunded; Iraq Reports More Cholera, Hemorrhagic Fever Cases; Latest COVID-19 Wave Escalates

On June 30, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) provided an update on the state of funding for the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which points to a large gap between requirements and available resources. OCHA said that donors have provided $90 million in funding through the month of June, which represents just over 22% of the $400 million needed to fully implement the 2022 HRP. The 2022 HRP had identified a population of 2.5 million who need assistance, of whom 961,000 are considered to be in acute need reaching “extreme or catastrophic levels.” The HRP aims to help 996,000 people from this population. These include 180,000 IDPs living in camps, 234,000 IDPs staying in places other than camps, and 577,000 returnees “with life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to meet their most critical humanitarian needs.” 

On July 3, a spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Health said the number of confirmed hemorrhagic fever cases recorded in the country since the beginning of the recent outbreak had increased to 230. According to the official, 38 of those infected died as a result of the disease. The spokesman also said that the number of confirmed cholera cases in the country had increased to 160, including two fatalities. 

On July 7, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported the total number of COVID-19 infections reached 2,374,046, an increase of 25,384 in cases from the 2,348,662 reported on June 30. Of these cases, 31,925 are currently under treatment, including 24 treated in ICUs. These numbers represent an increase of 27,263 in hospitalizations (> 217%) and eight in ICU admissions since June 30. Ministry data indicated that there were 12 new COVID-19 deaths since June 30, bringing the total to 25,253. The average number of new cases during the last 7-day period increased sharply to 3,626 per day, up from 1,251 per day during the 14-day period ending June 30. In the past 24 hours, the areas with the highest case counts were Baghdad with 1,825 cases, Wasit with 420, Duhok with 360, and Erbil with 338 cases. To date, Iraq has tested a total of 18,851,475 samples for COVID-19. The number of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine reached 10,903,353 including 15,171 who received their shots on July 7. 

Sources cited above include: Iraq’s Health Ministry, ReliefWeb, ISHM archives, and Nas News.


Oil Revenue Hit New High In June; Survey Reveals Detailed Unemployment Data; Court Voids KRG Oil Contracts

On July 1, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil said that crude oil exports during June totaled 101.19 million barrels, for an average of 3.37 million barrels per day (bpd), about 70,000 bpd higher than in May. The June exports generated $11.5 billion in revenue, nearly $70 million higher than the record $11.43 billion achieved in May. Iraq sold its crude oil at an average price of approximately $113.7 per barrel, about $2 above the previous month’s average of $111.79 per barrel. Shipped exports from fields in southern and central Iraq averaged 3.26 million bpd in June, while average exports from the northern fields in Kirkuk, which were exported through the Turkish port of Ceyhan, dropped to just over 97,000 bpd. 

On July 3, Iraqi officials said that the country has added a new gas-fired power plant with a total capacity of 750 megawatts to its national grid. The new power plant, built by investors in Maysan province, was designed to generate 500 megawatts from its simple cycle, and an additional 250 megawatts from its combined cycle. Natural gas for the power plant will come from the Halfaya and Buzurgan oil fields in the same province.

On July 5, the Iraqi government released findings for a nationwide labor force survey conducted by the Planning Ministry, the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO). The goal of the survey, which is the first that Iraq has performed in a decade, was to gather up to date “data on the size and characteristics of the labor force, employment, unemployment and other labor market characteristics of the population, including working time, income from employment of employees at main jobs and informality of employment.” Key findings of the survey, based on a sample size of 16,400 households from 18 provinces, showed the following:

  • The national labor force participation rate (LFPR), which represents the percentage of people who are active in the labor market (both employed and unemployed) was 39.5% in 2021. 
  • Female labor force participation rate was a mere 10.6% while male participation was 68%.
  • LFPR of people aged 15 to 24 years was 26.5%, and LFPR of adults 25 years or older was 45.8%.
  • The percentage of the working-age population that was employed in 2021 was 33%. The ratio is lower among women (7.6%) compared to men (58%), and lower for youth (17%) than for adults (40.6%).
  • The data show that unemployment stood at 16.5%. Among females, unemployment was nearly double that among males (28.2% compared to 14.7%). 
  • Unemployment among young people was more than three times that among adults (35.8% compared to 11.2%).
  • More than 54% of total employment was in the informal sector and the number of persons with informal jobs represented two-thirds of total employment.

On July 6, al-Hurra reported, based on an earlier report by AFP, that an Iraqi court in Baghdad had ruled that the contracts of four foreign oil companies operating in the Kurdistan region were void. The ruling on July 4 reportedly affected Western Zagros, DNO, HKN Energy, and Genel Energy. The court found the contracts in question to be in violation of the February 15 ruling by the Federal Supreme Court against oil operations in the Kurdistan region, according to an unnamed senior Iraqi oil official. 

On July 7, Iraq’s Trade Ministry said that the latest wheat harvest has provided enough wheat to cover domestic demand through the end of the year, adding that imports will help build a strategic reserve for the first few months of 2023. The director of the ministry’s grain trading arm, Mohammed Hanoun, explained that the latest harvest provided 2.06 million tons to date, with more grain coming from farmers in the Kurdistan region, Ninewa, and Kirkuk. 

Sources cited above include: Iraq’s Oil Ministry, ISHM archives, al-Hurra, INA, al-Sumaria, IMN, and ReliefWeb. 


IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties

Casualties Due To IEDs from June 30, 2022 - July 7, 2022

DateLocationDeathsInjuries
7/2/22 Tal Afar, Ninewa province12
7/2/22 Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad12
7/2/22 Adhamiyah, Baghdad01
7/3/22 Southern Salah ad-Din province00
7/3/22 Sherween, Diyala province 04
7/5/22 Tel Keif, Ninewa province 07
7/5/22 Rifai, Dhi-Qar province00

 

Please note: some geographic locations represented are approximations and this map may not represent all incidents.


Derived from firsthand accounts and Iraq-based Arabic and Kurdish news sources, the Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor is a free publication of the Enabling Peace in Iraq Center.


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